We all know how vegetables play an important role in living a healthy life. Vegetables and fruits both are filled with essential nutrients which keep our bodies nourished and help in growth and development. Now the big question comes, when we ask ourselves how can we have our kids eat enough of them. Making kids eat vegetables, is not an easy job and if your kids do eat them, then I am pretty sure you are on cloud 9. For the rest of us parents, there is an easy way which is called Smoothies! Now I know that for your little ones, the call for avocados or carrot smoothies will not get them on their toes to the kitchen, but along with the mixture of some cool and colorful fruits, a vegetable smoothie can become a fun part of your kid’s meal.
Here are these two amazing veggie smoothie recipes which your kids will love!
Carrot Orange Smoothie
1 cup peeled, chopped carrots
1 orange, peeled and chopped
1 frozen banana, chopped
1 cup ice
1 cup orange juice
Layer the ice, banana chunks, orange segments, and carrots in the blender, add the orange juice, and blend until smooth.
Strawberries and Cream Smoothie
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup fresh or frozen mix berries
1 cup almond milk or any non-dairy beverage.
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup fresh baby spinach
Directions: Layer all the ingredients, and blend until it has a creamy smooth texture.
Author: Zakia Akber, BSc Food and Nutrition.
1/4 - 1/3 cup mashed and previously cooked butternut squash
2 T brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour (I use ½ cup whole wheat and ½ cup white flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Beat cooked mashed squash with brown sugar, milk and egg until smooth
In separate bowl, stir sifted flour, baking powder and salt.
Stir dry ingredients into squash mixture.
Heat pan with cooking spray and drop in batter one spoon at a time.
When bubbling on top and golden brown on bottom flip them and cook.
Serve with maple syrup.
If you have leftover cooked squash, you can freeze it and label for the next time you make these pancakes! Get your kids to do the stirring or break an egg!
They love the process!
This recipe was one of the assignments I had during one of my rotations at a skilled nursing facility. I was assigned a food demonstration and that month the vegetable spotlighted was squash as it was Fall. I picked butternut squash because I found it on sale at the local stores. I tried out a few recipes by scrolling through the Internet. I had fallen in love with the butternut squash recipe for pancakes. I still use that recipe today and have tweaked it a bit for the measurements and my kids love to eat it. It also helps to know they are getting in their Vitamin A from the squash in the mornings too! In addition, squashes are considered nutritional goldmines!
How to cut Butternut Squash?
Cut in half, peel and chop.
This webpage has good pics!
How to cook it now its all cut?
I like to just steam the diced squash on the stovetop (15 to 20 minutes) or microwave it (around 10 minutes) for pancakes. I don’t recommend boiling.
Here are a list of snacks that my kids eat:
Its good to try and think of snacks as mini-meals that provide some protein or fat with the starch to keep the little tummies full.
Keep in mind of certain foods being choking hazards for ages 1 to 4 and always watch your child during meal or snack time.
Here is an additional link to some more healthy snacks!
*Remember to watch your child at all times while they are eating and to keep in mind the foods that may cause choking in babies and toddlers.
1 - 2 whole beets
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 small apples
2 T of Nuts (your favorite kind!) ( I put chopped walnuts and flaxseeds)
1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (good quality!)
1 T Raspberry Vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove minced garlic
Begin by steaming beets and cut them into wedges for easier eating. Here is a good website on how to cook beets:
Peel, section and cut the orange.
Place the beets, orange sections and chopped apples on top of the shredded greens.
Whisk together all the ingredients of the salad dressing and pour over the salad bowl
Top with the nuts and seeds.
Note: I usually buy a bunch of the beets. You can use the beet greens in the salad or use it to make chutney/pesto. I suggest steaming all the beets and cutting and storing the leftovers. I take out the beets and put it on the table with the next meal. One extra vegetable exposure for the kids and the family!